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Texas Longhorns baseball announces 10 signees

The Longhorns will reload after the College World Series run last year with a small group that fills needs and should make it to campus intact.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

texas baseball signing day

Texas athletics

From the school:

AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Texas baseball program furthered a string of recent recruiting success with the signing of 10 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent which were announced by head coach Augie Garrido on Wednesday.

Garrido, recruiting coordinator Tommy Nicholson and associate head coach Skip Johnson, who have signed 21 players in the last two years and brought 20 of them to campus, bolstered their roster with the addition of six pitchers and four positional players.

"Tommy and Skip continue to do a great job targeting players who fit well in our program, while addressing the needs we will have," said Garrido. "Talent-wise, this class is very similar to the last two groups we've brought in."

The Longhorns, who are well-stocked for the future with 27 freshmen and sophomores on their current fall roster, looked to add depth and create competition at positions of need with this class.

"With our last two classes we've built depth and created a lot of competition at every position by bringing in elite talent," said Nicholson. "We always want to find guys with good character and a great work ethic so that they fit in with the type of players we already have here. We're very pleased with this group."

Texas inked seven players from within the state and also went to Florida, Nevada and Colorado for signees. The Longhorns added four right-handed pitchers: Nolan Kingham (Las Vegas), Beau Ridgeway (The Woodlands, Texas), Chase Shugart (Bridge City, Texas) and Blake Wellman (Brenham, Texas); and a pair of lefties in Nick Kennedy (Tampa, Fla.) and James Nittoli (San Antonio).

Among the four positional players, there are two outfielders in Brady Harlan (Corsicana, Texas) and Tyler Rand (Houston) and two infielders in Kody Clemens (Houston) and Matt Schmidt (Parker, Colo.).

"Once again, Texas has signed a strong, balanced class that has a chance to be among the nation's best," said Aaron Fitt, National Writer for Baseball America. "This group has an excellent blend of left-handed and right-handed pitching along with potential impact bats. Tommy Nicholson has proven very adept at signing talented players who are truly committed to the college experience, helping him put together the nation's No. 2 recruiting class last year and the No. 11 class this year. This looks like another elite class for the Longhorns."

"Texas didn't sign a huge class, but it didn't need to for the 2015 crop," said Kendall Rogers, College Managing Editor for Perfect Game USA. "What Texas did do, however, was sign a class that has both balance and very impressive players from a prospect standpoint. Another plus about this staff is that it's obvious recruiting coordinator Tommy Nicholson and Skip Johnson did their due diligence. This is a class, as of right now, that should have a very good chance to get everyone on campus, something Longhorns fans have had to worry about in the past. Overall, I really like the class UT put together."

2015 University of Texas Baseball Signing Class (as of Nov. 12, 2014)

Name | Position | Bats/Throws | Height | Weight |Hometown (High School)


Kody Clemens | INF | L/R | 6-1 | 180 | Houston, Texas (Memorial HS)

AT MEMORIAL: A three-year starter who has played shortstop, second base and center field ... 2013 and 2014 Perfect Game Underclass High Honorable Mention All-America ... a first team all-district selection as a utility player in 2013.

PERSONAL: Son of Roger and Debbie ... has three brothers, Koby, Kory and Kacy ... Kacy is a sophomore on the UT baseball team ... father is a former MLB pitcher and was a member of the 1983 UT National Championship team.

I CHOSE TEXAS BECAUSE... "The opportunity to study and play at a University that has great history, pride, and tradition. Focusing on winning a national title like my father did, and having another opportunity to play alongside my older brother while trying to attain that goal."

NICHOLSON ON CLEMENS: "Obviously Kody has a great baseball background. He's very competitive, has an athletic build, is wiry strong, runs and throws well. He can play any infield position and is a line-drive hitter."


Brady Harlan | OF | L/R | 6-0 | 175 | Corsicana, Texas (Corsicana HS)

AT CORSICANA: A three-year starter in the outfield with a .349 career batting average, 85 runs, 54 stolen bases and 45 RBIs ... as a junior, hit .400 with a .491 on-base percentage, scoring 29 runs and stealing 24 bases ... 2014 Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention All-America ... three-time all-district selection and third team all-state selection as a junior ... Golden Circle Defensive Player of the Year as a junior ... a member of the National Honor Society.

PERSONAL: Son Billy and Lori ... has a sister, Abby ... his dad was an outfielder at Texas A&M and a team captain of the 1993 College World Series squad ... his grandfather, David Smith, played football at SMU (1967-68).

I CHOSE TEXAS BECAUSE... "Of its great academic and athletic prominence. It is a first class baseball program with first class coaches and an opportunity for me to graduate with an exemplary degree. I can't wait to be a Longhorn!"

NICHOLSON ON HARLAN: "Brady can play all three positions in the outfield. He throws and runs well and will hit for average. He has a little power and will develop more. Most of all he has a great makeup, is athletic, and fits in with his character."


Nick Kennedy | LHP | R/L | 6-1 | 200 | Tampa, Fla. (Alonso HS)

AT ALONSO: A three-year letterwinner as a pitcher and outfielder ... a 2014 Perfect Game Underclass First Team All-American ... named to the 17u Perfect Game World Series all-tournament team as a sophomore ... also played football as a freshman and sophomore ... a member of the National Honor Society.

PERSONAL: Son of Dave and Julie ... has two brothers, Ben and Eric ... Ben is a sophomore on the UT baseball team ... dad is a strength & conditioning coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

I CHOSE TEXAS BECAUSE... "As a young kid living in Lincoln, Neb., I was able to go to the College World Series each year for four years. Our family tradition was that my brothers and I each got to buy a hat every year of one of the teams playing. At nine years old in 2005, I bought a Longhorns hat and dreamed that I could one day play for Texas. I've always wanted to go to Texas because of its winning tradition. I believe UT is the best of the best."

JOHNSON ON KENNEDY: "Nick has a great arm angle and is what we're looking for in a pitcher. He has good presence and poise and is naturally very physical."


Nolan Kingham | RHP | R/R | 6-4 | 195 | Las Vegas, Nevada (Desert Oasis HS)

AT DESERT OASIS: A three-year starter who has pitched and played shortstop and first base ... had a 3.43 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 53 innings on the mound as a junior, while hitting .421 with 23 runs and 23 RBIs ... a first team Northwest selection as a pitcher in 2014 ... a 2014 Perfect Game Underclass First Team All-American.

PERSONAL: Son of Don and Roxanne ... has a brother, Nick, who pitches for the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I CHOSE TEXAS BECAUSE... "It's my dream school."

JOHNSON ON KINGHAM: "Nolan is a plus athlete with good baseball genes. He grew up in a competitive household with his brother now in the Pirates organization, and has pitched in big games."


James Nittoli | LHP | R/L | 6-4 | 215 | San Antonio, Texas (Alamo Heights)

AT ALAMO HEIGHTS: A two-year starter as a pitcher and first baseman ... had a 2.66 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings as a junior, and a 1.32 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 79 1/3 innings as a sophomore ... named the 2013 San Antonio Express News All-Area Newcomer of the Year, District 27-4A Newcomer of the Year and Academic All-District ... played football as a freshman and golf as a sophomore ... three-year member of the honor roll.

PERSONAL: Son of Jim and Kelley ... has a sister, Julia ... his mother played golf at Houston Baptist University ... his cousin, Drew Allen, was a quarterback at the University of Oklahoma from 2009-12 ... his uncle, Andrew Allen, was a defensive tackle at UT from 1974-77.

I CHOSE TEXAS BECAUSE... "I was born in Texas, I belong in Texas, and UT is THE University of Texas. Being a Longhorn baseball player is a dream come true."

JOHNSON ON NITTOLI: "James has a physical presence on the mound and command of a three-pitch mix. He throws strikes and has a lot of upside."


Beau Ridgeway | RHP | R/R | 6-2 | 175 | The Woodlands, Texas (The Woodlands College Park HS)

AT COLLEGE PARK: A starting pitcher the last two seasons while also seeing time at second and third base ... first team all-district and Montgomery County Pitcher of the Year as a junior when he had a 1.30 ERA, including 0.70 in district play ... member of the Texas Rangers Area Code Team and MVP pitcher for Team Texas at the 2014 Sunbelt Classic ... a 2013 and 2014 Perfect Game Underclass High Honorable Mention All-American ... also played football his freshman and sophomore seasons ... a member of the honor roll all three years of high school.

PERSONAL: Son of Brad and Sarah ... has two brothers, Cooper and Walker ... his dad played football at Oklahoma State.

I CHOSE TEXAS BECAUSE... "I love the atmosphere and winning tradition."

JOHNSON ON RIDGEWAY: "Beau is a plus-athlete around the mound with a low 3/4 delivery. He attacks the strike zone with a fastball, slider and changeup and isn't afraid to go after hitters."


Tyler Rand | OF | R/R | 6-0 | 175 | Houston, Texas (Langham Creek)

AT LANGHAM CREEK: A two-year starter in center field who has hit .321 with 44 RBIs and 43 stolen bases in his career ... a two-time all-district and Team Texas selection ... hit .327 with 29 RBIs and 24 stolen bases as a junior, when he was a Perfect Game Underclass High Honorable Mention All-American ... a three-time member of the academic honor roll and an academic all-district selection as a junior.

PERSONAL: Son of Casey and Suzie ... has a brother, Ryan.

I CHOSE TEXAS BECAUSE... "It's a top notch program with great coaches."

NICHOLSON ON RAND: "Tyler is a true center fielder and a leadoff guy that can really, really run. He has some pop with his bat too. He really does everything well."


Matt Schmidt | INF | R/R | 6-2 | 200 | Parker, Colo. (Regis Jesuit HS)

AT REGIS JESUIT: A three-year letterwinner and two-year starter at third base with a .399 career batting average ... hit .385 as a junior when he was named an Under Armour preseason All-American and Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention All-America ... also played football as a freshman and sophomore ... member of the academic honor roll as a junior.

PERSONAL: Son of Bill and Linda ... has a brother, Andrew, who is a sophomore baseball player at UCLA ... his dad is the Vice President of Scouting for the Colorado Rockies.

I CHOSE TEXAS BECAUSE... "The relationship the players and coaches have with each other and the winning tradition."

NICHOLSON ON SCHMIDT: "Matt is a corner infielder who is very physical. He has good bat speed and a nice swing, soft hands at third base and a lot of upside."


Chase Shugart | RHP | Bridge City, Texas (Bridge City HS)

AT BRIDGE CITY: A three-year letterwinner who has pitched along with playing third base and outfield ... district MVP and all-state selection as a junior when he went 10-1 with a 1.64 ERA and 127 strikeouts on the mound while hitting .360 at the plate ... a 2014 Perfect Game Underclass third team All-American ... first team all-district as a sophomore when he hit .354 and had a 1.65 ERA in 29 2/3 innings on the mound ... second team all-district as a freshman ... also plays football, earning second team all-district honors at safety as a sophomore and honorable mention as the quarterback his junior season.

PERSONAL: Grandson of Ronnie and Wanda Shugart ... his uncle, Ronnie, played baseball at Jacksonville from 1989-90.

I CHOSE TEXAS BECAUSE... "Texas has been my dream school for as long as I can remember. There's no better place to be for baseball with the winning tradition and environment. I fell in love with it all."

JOHNSON ON SHUGART: "Chase is a plus-plus athlete and a two-way player at Bridge City. He's a high strikeout pitcher who is polished on the mound and a fierce competitor."


Blake Wellman | RHP | R/R | 6-5 | 180 | Brenham, Texas (Brenham HS)

AT BRENHAM: In two varsity seasons has a perfect 14-0 record on the mound, going 9-0 as a junior and 5-0 as a sophomore ... named all-state, all-region, all-district and all-greater Houston as a junior when he had a 1.31 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 65 innings pitched ... had a 1.94 ERA as a sophomore ... a member of the National Honor Society and a three-year member of the honor roll.

PERSONAL: Son of David and Kim ... has a brother, Matthew ... his aunt and uncle are alumni of UT ... he was the bat boy for UT during Dustin Majewski's playing career.

I CHOSE TEXAS BECAUSE... "Texas was a perfect fit for me. The baseball is phenomenal, the education is great and Austin is a neat city. Coach Johnson sealed the deal telling me that I am the type of pitcher he likes to recruit."

JOHNSON ON WELLMAN: "Blake has a very high ceiling and gets better and better every time he goes out on the mound. He's really coming into his own and has a highly competitive background being at Brenham."

*****

Unfortunately, the Horns also received some bad news on Wednesday, as right-handed pitcher Morgan Cooper recently underwent Tommy John surgery and will miss the 2015 season. He was expected to be a weekend starter this year.